Category: Fleming


My Jerkless Knee

Since the knee surgery of two weeks ago, I have been living in a fog of discomfort and confusion through which, occasionally, a dim light shines with enough brightness to permit me to revise a few pages or post something I have rewritten.  I on’t feel terribly guilty about my sloth, but I have decided to share my tedium with others,


The Autodidact on Aristotle

The one figure who defines modern thought is Aristotle, not of course because modern thinkers have followed him, but because since Galileo and Descartes and Bacon, scientists and philosophers have defined themselves by their opposition to Aristotle


Taking Responsibility for Crime

Willie Smith III was executed today in Alabama for the brutal and capricious murder of a woman he had kidnapped from an ATM.  The usual critics of the death penalty have not been silent in their opposition to Smith’s execution.  


Gilbert and Sullivan, Part I: A Brief and Informal Guide

There are many studies, commentaries, and guidebooks to the world of Sir W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.  I have read or consulted several them over the years, and I will provide a little bibliography as this series—undertaken in response to requests—but I disclaim any specialized knowledge that is not in the hands or in the heads of perhaps tens of thousands of people who have read, watched, and listened to their work for many years.


Resisting Evil, V: The Fundamental Things of Life

Instead of plunging headlong into the tedious history of self-defense legislation, let us rather begin (as Plato or John Locke might) by imagining a state of society in which there is no legitimate authority or, at least, no legal power to protect the innocent or punish the guilty.  We do not have to dig into the ethnographic accounts of such violent peoples as the Ifugao of the Philippines or the Yanamano of South America.  The Celtic, Slavic, and Germanic peoples of Europe provide a rich record of violent periods in which self-help and vengeance were a normal means of protection...